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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington

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Hastings Trustees To Hear Report On Deer Birth Control

This local deer maybe getting birth control if the Village of Hastings approves a plan to vaccinate the deer population.
This local deer maybe getting birth control if the Village of Hastings approves a plan to vaccinate the deer population. Photo Credit: Danny LoPriore

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - A report on deer contraception will be presented by Dr. Allen T. Rutberg of Tufts University at Tuesday's regular board meeting of the Hastings Board of Trustees.

Rutberg,  who heads the Center for Animals and Public Policy Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts, will present his report on the viability of a plan to administer birth control to local deer.

Since 2010, the village has been considering methods to control the ever-growing deer population, which wreaks havoc on foliage, increases the risk of Lyme disease and leads to dangerous car vs. deer collisions. Officials hope to begin shooting deer with tranquilizing darts and vaccinating them with birth control.

Deer birth control involves a vaccine called PZP, short for porcine zona pellucida, a pig protein that poses no risk to people, animals or the environment, Rutberg told The Daily Voice in an interview in December.

The deer is shot via dart gun to tranquilize it before the vaccine can be injected. The Environmental Protection Agency requires that the deer be tagged so that it can be identified as having been treated. Another tag will state that the meat of the animal should not be consumed by humans.

The contraceptive plan has been used before in places such as Fire Island. It is expected to be more effective and less controversial than culling by gun and bow hunting.

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